Let's face it, preparing three meals a day, every day, to satisfy the hungry maws of your offspring, to say nothing of the bottomless pit your significant other calls a stomach, gets old. How creative can you be after eight hours in an office or carpooling or washing loads of stinky T-shirts that smell like baby burps? You might even have been "into" cooking at one time. Maybe you took a few classes or followed along as Chef Chan whipped up a ginger-soy stir-fry to die for on cable channel 38. And yes, you became your mother: Remember those cream-laden, alcohol laced meals she prepared with the help of a televised Julia Child?
But just like your mother, the gusto with which you once approached mealtimes soon died down. The homemade coq au vin has since been replaced by chicken McNuggets; the seared ahi encrusted in fresh ground pepper served with jasmine rice has been reincarnated as a Starkist tuna casserole, topped with greasy Durkee onion rings. The only similarity between the two dishes is that they contain fish and starch. Further along in your culinary demise, you start letting the kids eat cereal for dinner and leftover hamburger for breakfast. School lunches become an exercise in extreme creativity: If there's no more peanut butter and jelly, what about Spam and Cheese Whiz on cold waffles?
Even in desperation, there are some foods that should never be combined. Like hot rice mixed with mayonnaise and sprinkled with crumbled potato chips. Looking at this month's Drama Queen entries, it's a wonder our contestants didn't get food poisoning. So peruse the candidates and vote for your favorite food debacle. You never know: What one set of taste buds finds terrifying, you -- and your kids -- might find wholly tantalizing.
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ILLUSTRATION BY KATHERINE STREETER